The governance of smart mobility



Docherty I, Marsden G & Anable J (2018) The governance of smart mobility. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 115, pp. 114-125.

There is an active contemporary debate about how emerging technologies such as automated vehicles, peer-to-peer sharing applications and the 'Internet of things' will revolutionise individual and collective mobility. Indeed, it is argued that the so-called 'Smart Mobility' transition, in which these technologies combine to transform how the mobility system is organised and operates, has already begun. As with any socio-technical transition there are critical questions to be posed in terms of how the transition is managed, and how both the benefits and any negative externalities of change will be governed. This paper deploys the notion of ensuring and enhancing public value as a key governance aim for the transition. It sets out modes and methods of governance that could be deployed to steer the transition and, through four thematic cases explores how current mobility governance challenges will change. In particular, changing networks of actors, resources and power, new logics of consumption, and shifts in how mobility is regulated, priced and taxed will require to be successfully negotiated if public value is to be captured from the transition. This is a critical time for such questions to be raised because technological change is clearly outpacing the capacity of systems and structures of governance to respond to the challenges already apparent. A failure to address both the short and longer-term governance issues risks locking the mobility system into transition paths which exacerbate rather than ameliorate the wider social and environmental problems that have challenged planners throughout the automobility transition.

Governance; Transition; Public value; Smart technology; Mobility; Externalities

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice: Volume 115

FundersEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Publication date30/09/2018
Publication date online08/10/2017
Date accepted by journal08/10/2017

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Professor Iain Docherty

Professor Iain Docherty

Dean of Institute for Advanced Studies